Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship

The University of New Mexico Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine offers an ACGME-accredited 3-year fellowship program in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM). At present, the subspecialty training program accepts 2 fellows each year. With a proven track record of producing physicians who excel in all facets of the modern practice of pediatric emergency medicine, the program capitalizes on the resources of the

University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, with an emphasis on clinical management, research, teaching, and administration.

Our fellowship received ACGME approval in 2009 and selected the program's first fellow in 2011. Since then, the fellowship has continued to grow and contribute to the clinical and educational mission of the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, as well as pediatric emergency services throughout the greater southwest region. Beyond clinical excellence in the management of acutely ill or injured children, fellows are expected to demonstrate competence in research, the teaching of other professionals, providers, students, and community members, and participate in the administrative issues relevant to an emergency department.

The fellowship consists of rotations including anesthesia, radiology, critical care, toxicology, EMS, orthopedics, child abuse, trauma, and adult emergency medicine. A longitudinal course in research design and methodology ensures support and proficiency in scholarship. Simulation exercises are conducted bi-monthly, with frequent fellow involvement in running scenarios and debrief. Additionally, teaching opportunities abound; from resident physician didactics to ski patrol and EMS training, fellows hone their skills as educators in their field of expertise.

Drawing from urban centers to rural communities of the Four Corners region, the University of New Mexico Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine cares for approximately 25,000 patient visits annually and is staffed by the pediatric attending physician, fellows, residents, and nurses dedicated to the care of children. As the region's level 1 trauma center, exposure to the management of acuity is in no short supply.

The Pediatric ER is located on the first floor of the facility adjacent to the UNMH Main ER and has its secured waiting room. It is brightly colored with state of the art equipment and 12 private treatment rooms. Full-service resuscitation and trauma rooms are available for the severely ill and level 1 pediatric trauma patients. Our program has a strong focus on community service and strives to prepare our rural communities, facilities, and providers to care for the ill and injured child.

Natasha James, MD, FAAP

Program Director


  • Undergraduate - Cornell University – 2001

  • University of NM School of Medicine 2006 - 2010

  • Pediatric Residency - University of NM School of Medicine 2010 - 2013

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship - University of NM School of Medicine 2013 -2016


I was born on the beautiful Caribbean island of Trinidad and spent much of my childhood in Trinidad and St. Vincent before my family immigrated to the East coast of the United States. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Ithaca NY, my husband and my daughter and I moved to New Mexico where we have now lived for over 18 years. It has been a great journey to raise three children and enjoying the state of NM. I enjoy the outdoors, music, traveling and learning about cultures from around the world.

Teaching Interests

  • Simulation

  • Bedside Teaching  

  • Research Interests

  • Medical Education

  • Appendicitis

Center/Laboratory/Program Affiliations

Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine


Sara Skarbek-Borowska, MD, FAAP

Associate Program Director 


Undergraduate: Duke University

Medical School: University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Residency in Pediatrics: Vanderbilt University

Fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine: Brown University


Originally from the Midwest, I completed my fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Brown University and was subsequently drawn to the people, culture, cuisine, and natural beauty of New Mexico.  I now consider myself a local, as I have been here since 2005 and have developed a strong affinity for green chile. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as the Associate Program Director for our Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship for the past several years.  I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of colleagues, fellows, and residents. Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband and my three children. My other passions are running, hiking, skiing (with hourly stops for hot chocolate), sailing (yes, there are lakes here), reading, and baking.

Teaching Interests

Point-of-care ultrasound


Research Interests

Medical Education 

Center/Laboratory/Program Affiliations

Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine


Beatrice Rushing

Program Coordinator

Beatrice has been with UNM for over 8 years and has experience working with medical students, residents, and fellows.

A day in the pediatric emergency department is never the same. Sure, it always starts the same - with a brilliantly sunny, bluebird sky. After all, you are in New Mexico! And yes, you’ll probably still see asthma and constipation, but that’s where the routine ends and the envenomations, rodeo injuries, and even pig bites, begin. That’s what makes the University of New Mexico Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship a delightfully unique place to train. 

The Fellowship is uniquely part of the Department of Emergency Medicine, housed with Disaster Medicine, Emergency Medical Services, and Wilderness Medicine, offering amazing opportunities across the board. We are an active Level 1 Trauma Center. As such, a dedicated trauma month is not part of our curriculum as we see these patients daily. Marshaling people, resources, and plans for multiple trauma resuscitations on top of an already-busy census is not an uncommon scenario. Given the acuity seen at UNM, opportunities for procedures abound. Additionally, as the tertiary referral center for a large catchment area, taking calls from community emergency departments, telemedicine consults, and transport considerations are a regular aspect of our training.

At this point, you’re probably thinking this all sounds pretty similar to other programs, so what’s it like at the University of New Mexico? Full disclaimer: I have no idea what other training experiences are like - probably similar to you, I have only experienced one acting internship, one residency, and now, one fellowship. A sample size of n=3 is probably not very useful for comparative descriptions, so I will abstain. 

What I can share, beyond a doubt, is that I am supported here. Each day, I am supported by a clinical team truly dedicated to taking care of the health and wellness of the children of New Mexico. I am supported by attending physicians who encourage exploring approaches and techniques that differ from what they might do themselves. I am supported by a division with strong leadership that has a clear and collaborative vision for where this program is headed. And most of all, I am supported when voicing my wants, needs, concerns, and preferences. 

What I can share, beyond a doubt, is that I am valued here. My expertise in pediatrics is valued by my peers, trusted by my attending, and called upon to educate residents. My role as a PEM fellow here is one that is bestowed with appropriate responsibility. In this institution, my role is welcomed at all faculty, division, and departmental meetings. Education and research opportunities with community EMS, medical students, and residents abound because we are valued. Equally important is that my education is valued as a priority of the department. The directorship actively listens and responds to fellows’ requests to best maximize our learning. In just the last year, shift schedules have been adjusted, rotations have been improved, and incredible learning adjuncts such as ImageSim have been added to contribute to our education. A fellows’ office, access to all of the UNM Health Sciences Center facilities, and a state-of-the-art simulation center serve as some of our other resources.

Most importantly, I can share that I am incredibly happy here. Wellness is the latest buzzword in graduate medical education, but a work-life balance is baked into the very fabric of living and training in New Mexico. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful in New Mexico, but Albuquerque itself is a vibrant city with opportunities that span all interests. With a diverse community, the city is rich with culture, full of museums, festivals, breweries, farmer’s markets, sports teams, and outdoor activities for every season. I get to take my dog trail running and skiing, grow carrots and kale in my backyard, dig for fossils, build exhaustive spreadsheets of the best taco trucks, and learn all my Spanish from minor league soccer chants. The cost of living and opportunity for adventures and explorations of the greater southwest are second to none. Also, nobody, and I mean nobody, gets better sunsets than we do. 

However, it’s not just life outside of the hospital that is joyous. The patients and the families that I get to take care of, the nurses and residents and staff, my co-fellows, and all the members of the department - these are the faces that make going to work each day so enjoyable. More than anything, I am grateful and fortunate to be part of the University of New Mexico Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship.

Benny Chen, MD

Rotations, electives, block schedule, areas of special focus

Example of our two-year curriculum for our emergency medicine-trained fellows

Pediatrics-Trained Fellows

Year 1

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine - 6 blocks
  • Research – 2.5 blocks
  • Pediatric Critical Care - 1 block
  • Pediatric Anesthesia - 1 block
  • Adult Emergency Medicine - 1 block
  • Toxicology/US - 1 block
  • CART - 0.5 block

Year 2

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine – 5 blocks
  • Research – 4.5 blocks
  • Adult Emergency Medicine – 0.5 block
  • Emergency Medical Services - 1 blocks
  • Orthopedics – 1 block
  • Elective* - 1 block

Year 3

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine - 5 blocks
  • Research - 5 blocks
  • Ultrasound - 0.5 block
  • Adult Emergency Medicine – 0.5 block
  • Trauma – 1 block
  • Elective* - 1 block

Emergency Medicine-Trained Fellows

Year 1

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine - 7 blocks
  • Pediatric Critical Care - 1 block
  • Pediatric Anesthesia / Research - 1 block
  • Pediatric Ward - 0.5 block
  • Neonatal ICU - 0.5 block
  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine/Research – 1 block
  • Elective - 2 blocks

Year 2

  • Pediatric Emergency Medicine - 7.5 blocks
  • Pediatric Child Abuse response Team - 0.5 block
  • Pediatrics Outpatient Clinics - 2 block


Examples of Electives Include: Pediatric radiology, cardiology, dermatology, orthopedics, dentistry, ultrasound, toxicology, wilderness medicine

Example of Pediatric Outpatient Clinics Include: Pediatric Urgent Care, Pediatric Cardiology Clinic, Pediatric Continuity Clinic, Pediatric      Dermatology Clinic, Pediatric Developmental Clinic

Educational conferences are held for PEM fellows every Wednesday.  The key elements of our curriculum include the following:

  • Longitudinal point-of-care ultrasound curriculum with our faculty sonographer, Tamara Barrett. Group scanning sessions are held on a bi-monthly basis and include the following studies:  eFAST, lung, renal/bladder, biliary, soft tissue, cardiac/IVC, pelvic OB/GYN, and the pediatric abdomen (appendix, intussusception, and pylorus).  Also, one-on-one scanning sessions are available for our PEM fellows.
  • Pediatric Cardiology/electrocardiogram curriculum with our pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Anne Greene. These sessions are held six times per year and include topics such as Long QT syndrome and Brugada, congenital heart disease, supraventricular tachycardia, heart block, pacemakers, and implantable cardioverters/defibrillators, pharmacology of anti-arrhythmic medications, and simulations incorporating PALS scenarios.
  • Longitudinal research curriculum with Dr. Lynne Fullerton. In this curriculum, we meet twice monthly to discuss key research topics, such as study design, statistics, research ethics, and public health and epidemiology.  Journal club is an integral component of this curriculum.
  • Simulation for PEM fellows. These simulation scenarios include topics such as altered mental status, head trauma, septic shock, diabetic ketoacidosis, anaphylaxis, PALS scenarios, and many others.
  • Procedural training for PEM fellows. These sessions include chest tube placement, central line placement, IO placement, slit lamp exam, suturing, and splinting.
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program, Advanced Trauma Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fundamentals of Critical Care course, Annual pain course
  • Annual Airway and Sedation course
  • Board preparation. Board prep sessions are held twice per month.
  • Fellows also attend radiology, ultrasound, toxicology, and morbidity and mortality sessions at EM resident conference.
  • All fellows are given free access to the musculoskeletal x-ray modules on Image Sim. Periodic sessions are scheduled during a weekly conference to provide fellows additional time to complete these modules.

  • Fellows have free access to the American Board of Pediatrics PREP-EMED questions.

  • Fellows are provided free copies of the Textbook of Pediatric Emergency Medicine by Fleisher and Ludwig, the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Question Review Book by Wang, Medical Statistics Made Easy by Harris, and High-Yield Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Public Health by Glaser.

Teaching Opportunities

PEM fellows hold monthly simulation sessions for EM residents and give morbidity and mortality presentations at EM resident conference.  They provide one PEM lecture per year to EM and pediatrics residents.  Fellows also teach the pediatric section of the Emergency Medicine Foundations course to the EM residents.  All fellows participate in the UNM Residents as Educators Course.  Fellows may also take classes and workshops through the UNM Office for Medical Educator Development.

Community Outreach

PEM fellows have the opportunity to teach at several conferences throughout New Mexico.  Fellows have lectured at the Enchanted Circle EMS Conference, Santa Fe Ski Area Conference, the Navajo Nation EMS Conference, and others. 

International Opportunities

Two of our past PEM fellows, Dr. Ose Amoni, and Dr. Matt Gunderson, provided educational sessions at hospitals in Japan. 


The wellness of our PEM fellows is extremely important to us.  We schedule an annual all-day retreat for our PEM fellows.  Also, our fellows have 2 wellness days off per year and have periodic wellness lunches as a group off-campus.

First-Year Fellows (PGY4)

Year one is spent as a direct care provider with some time spent supervising trainees. 

This can be a challenging time for some fellows as they transition from life as senior residents or even attendings in some cases.

They will focus on learning and doing as many procedures as possible, learning how to manage pediatric trauma and medical emergencies and having exposure to adult medicine for the first time since medical school (In some cases it has been many, years since caring for adults).

Second Year Fellows (PGY5)

In Year Two, the PEM Fellow begins the transition from caring for patients directly to becoming the supervising physician in charge of the entire ED.  The Fellow will continue to devote time to caring directly for patients but will also begin parallel shifts where he or she will gradually assume the responsibilities of the attending peds ED physician.  These parallel shifts are designed to provide the year II fellow with experience supervising, handling referral and transport calls, and running the ED under the direct supervision and assistance of a PEM attending.  The parallel shifts are designed to prepare the fellow for year three when he/she will act as the attending physician in the ED.

Third Year Fellows (PGY6)

In year three, the fellow will become proficient in running a pediatric ED.  This includes the care of emergency patients, taking referral calls and offering telephone advice, managing the transport of critically ill patients, appropriately obtaining and interpreting subspecialty consults, and maintaining an effective working relationship and communication with the charge nurse, nursing and ancillary staff as well as residents, medical students, and other trainees. 

Year three clinical responsibilities offer the fellow the opportunity to enjoy significant autonomy in working up and managing PEM patients with back-up readily available. 

Salary for 2019-2020:

  • HO IV - $58,064
  • HO V - $60,579
  • HO VI - $62,808

Salary is subject to change.

  • Health care coverage for housestaff and their dependents is available through Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Care or referrals obtained from a UNM primary care provider at the UNM Health Sciences Center require no deductible or co-payment for most services, including hospitalizations.
  • Life Insurance - The University carries $75,000 group life coverage on housestaff. The policy contains an accidental death and dismemberment component in addition.
  • Dental insurance.
  • Long term disability insurance.
  • Professional Liability Insurance ("per occurrence" type).
  • Meal allowance for on-call days.
  • University of New Mexico graduate student classification, including a UNM ID card and reduced prices for athletic and cultural events at the University.
  • Computer availability in the Fellowship Office.
  • 3 weeks paid vacation each year.
  • 1 week of educational leave per year with funding available to attend conferences.

National Residency Match Program (NRMP)

The deadline to submit a completed application is September 1st.

In addition to the completed application form, you will need to submit the following:

  1. Personal Statement
  2. Three Letters of Recommendation
  3. USMLE Step 1, 2, 3
  4. Medical School Transcript
  5. Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)/Dean’s Letter

AAMC Program ID 1143421023

NRMP Program ID 1962114F0

This year, our program will be offering all interviews virtually. The structure will be the same, with interviews on Thursdays from mid-September to early November from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will send out invitations for interviews in the last week of August.

This fellowship program considers applicants who are completing or who have completed a pediatrics or emergency medicine residency. Please note that PEM fellow candidates are required to provide backup call activities/services as part of the PEM fellowship program. Candidates who are unable to provide both “moonlighting” and backup call activities/services will not be considered.